Rosewater Pavlova with Watermelon Rose Sorbet

Menu PartDessert
Pavlova with watermelon sorbet

Chef Rochelle Cooper

Think Food Group

Washington, D.C.

When a watermelon salad left the kitchen with cuts of the fruit left over, Chef Rochelle Cooper pureed the chunks and strained the mixture to create watermelon juice, then transformed the juice into sorbet. The zero-waste sorbet is flavored with rose wine and rose water and complements the pillowy pavlova with its meringue base. The dessert is garnished with other seedy ingredients, like chia and kiwi, to result in a fruit-forward sweet that’s a great option for those who can’t eat gluten, dairy or nuts.


Sorbet base

124 g water

139 g granulated sugar

35 g glucose powder

2 g sorbet stabilizer

Watermelon rose sorbet                                                                                                    

680 g watermelon juice

34 g rosé wine

2 g rosewater

2 g kosher salt

282 g sorbet base

Rosewater pavlova

223 g egg whites

209 g granulated sugar

209 g powdered sugar

15 g egg white powder

15 g cornstarch

2 g kosher salt

5 g lemon juice

2 g rosewater

Watermelon chia

409 g watermelon juice

50 g chia seeds

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

31 g granulated sugar

6 g lime juice

Cured cucumbers

200 g cucumber, sliced and quartered

10 g fresh mint, picked

10 g salt

150 g granulated sugar

25 g honey

7 g lime juice


1 Rosewater Pavlova

1 scoop Watermelon Rosé Sorbet

5 pieces watermelon, varied sizes

1 tbsp. Sweet Cured Cucumbers

½ kiwi, peeled, sliced and quartered

2 tbsp. Watermelon Chia

Grated lime zest

Maldon salt

Micro mint


  1. For sorbet base, in medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Meanwhile, with dry whisk, whisk together remaining base ingredients. Slowly stream dry ingredients into boiling water while whisking constantly. Continue whisking until mixture reaches 82 C. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and cool in ice bath.
  2. For watermelon rose sorbet, strain watermelon juice through fine mesh sieve into large bowl. Add remaining sorbet ingredients to watermelon juice; combine with immersion blender.
  3. Spin mixture in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions to the consistency of soft serve. (Watermelons vary widely in sugar content and this greatly affects the texture of the sorbet. I typically reach for 28-30 brix; increase sorbet base slightly if watermelon is not sweet enough.)
  4. For pavlova,preheat oven to 185 F (prefer not to use convection, but if so, no fan or low fan). Place egg whites in very clean and dry mixer bowl with whip attachment. Mix on stir setting to break up whites.
  5. Sift dry ingredients together. Begin whipping whites with mixer; once frothy add one-third of the dry ingredients at a time, adding a little lemon juice and rose water alternately. Continue whipping on high until stiff peaks form.
  6. Pipe meringue onto a parchment-lined sheet tray into large individual mounds, placing

1½ inches apart. Dry meringues in preheated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. Once dry, store meringues in a cool dry place.

  1. For watermelon chia,add vanilla, sugar, and lime juice to watermelon juice; use a hand blender to combine. Add chia seeds, breaking up lumps or chia clusters. Allow to thicken overnight.
  2. For sweet-cured cucumbers, mix everything together in a shallow half hotel pan, cover with plastic and place in refrigerator. Allow to sit for an hour then mix again every so often to ensure they continue to cure in the liquid sugar mixture. Taste for texture/doneness; cucumbers should be more tender and reduce in size by half. Remove from liquid.
  3. To assemble and serve, place watermelon, kiwi and cucumbers around plate. Leave space at 8 o’ clock for the pavlova and 2 o’clock for sorbet. Dress the fruits with the watermelon chia. Place pavlova on plate and scoop sorbet on top of fruit. Zest the lime over the plate; garnish with a pinch of Maldon salt and micro mint.

Photo courtesy of National Watermelon Promotion Board

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